On November 20, 2017, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti. The DHS Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to temporary conditions in the country resulting from armed conflict, environmental disasters (such as earthquakes and hurricanes), or other extraordinary conditions. Haiti’s original TPS designation followed the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
Once a country receives the TPS designation, citizens of that county who are present in the United States may be eligible to remain in the US and not subject to removal; may be eligible to work within the US and may be granted travel authorization.
The effective date of the termination of TPS for Haiti will be delayed 18 months, until July, 2019. The DHS Secretary’s public announcement indicated that the delayed effective date will provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States. The decision affects an estimated 58 000 Haitians currently in the US and those who employ them.